Of Full Moons and Honey Mead

An Overview of the Honeymoon Tradition

Trivia is just trivia until it helps you appreciate the worth of something. But that’s just that. Besides, what do you make of knowing about the evolution of a nuptial tradition? Probably nothing much as it won’t really make your own experience any bit sweeter. However, knowing a little more than you need could help you in deciding on how you want your experience to be, and in knowing whether or not you can skip the tradition or adapt it to your own preferences.

So for whatever it’s worth, here is an overview of the honeymoon tradition.

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The Earliest Weddings

This origin of the tradition is what most historians agree on. In early European tradition, weddings were held only under full moons. In some European countries, newly-wed couples were made to drink honey mead for a month, as it was believed to ensure happiness and fertility. This practice dates back to the history of the king of the Asiatic Huns Attila from A.D. 433 to A.D. 453.

Abduction of the Bride

In early Northern European practices, the husband-to-be abducts his bride and hides for a period of time while his friends assure the bride’s family that the couple is safe. The bride’s family then begins their search for her. When they finally give up, the couple could then return to the village. This explains why couples begin the first days of their marriage away from their family and friends.

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The Grand Vacation

This concept of a honeymoon serving as the couple’s vacation after their wedding began in 1800s. The earliest practice of a tradition similar to today’s honeymoon was first observed in the Indian Subcontinent. Originally, Indian couples belonging to the elite or upper class would take a “bridal tour” along with their friends and retinues to visit close friends and relatives who were not able to attend their wedding ceremony. In the early 19th century, this was adapted in Great Britain and soon spread throughout Europe, America and the rest of the world. The concept gradually evolved: people of less noble birth appropriated it for their own and, eventually, the crowd following the couple was dropped off and newlyweds began travelling to more exotic locations, whether to visit relatives or not.

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In the 21st Century

At present, more couples travel to exotic destinations around the world and spend a week or up to a month exploring different places and enjoying various activities and each other’s company. Unlike the early tradition of the couple leaving immediately after their wedding and hop on a cruise ship and be on their way to their dream destination, nowadays couples take their time to rest after their wedding before they leave for their honeymoon vacation. Honeymoons used to be a time solely for couples to get comfortable with physical intimacy but now they also get to enjoy outdoor activities together such as hiking, biking, scuba diving and so much more.

So, how would you want to recreate this tradition?

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